The charming port city of Cape Town, South Africa has long had the distinction of being one of the world’s top tourist destinations. But now, the city is on track to top another list it doesn’t want to be included in: The first major city in the modern era to have its water supply chain switched off.
The city is experiencing a record-low water drought and city officials say soon they may have to take extraordinary steps to restrict water usage.
Experts - Kind - Drought - Years - Dam
Experts say this kind of drought only comes once in 300 years. Dam water levels are dangerously low, at an average of 25 percent. In some areas, levels are dropping by as much as 1 percent a day.
Under Level 6B restrictions introduced this week, residents and tourists can only use about 13 gallons – or 50 liters – of water a day, or face stiff fines. That’s the equivalent of a small to medium-sized tub of water.
Bath - People - Showers - Week - Washcloths
So taking a bath as is out. People are being urged to take only two short showers a week, or use washcloths to clean themselves. They are also being asked to flush the toilet only once a day. Many restaurants have shut off the water at sinks and are asking customers to use bottled hand sanitizers.
Long lines are forming at two wells in the city, where residents can get some water, about six gallons each. A brewery that owns the land where one of the wells sits offers limited water on a first-come, first-served basis.
Residents - Stock - Restrictions - Day - Zero
Many residents are trying to stock up because, even with these restrictions, “Day Zero” is likely to come. Barring a miracle, on May 11 – or sooner – most of the city’s water taps will be shut off.
Already, police and security agencies are bracing for possible civil unrest.
"It will be honestly...
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